OUSTED MP Anne McIntosh vowed to fight on as an independent, minutes after she was de-selected by the local Conservative Party.
The Thirsk and Malton MP – who is Yorkshire’s only female Conservative MP and is chairwoman of an influential Commons committee – yesterday lost a party ballot on her reselection following a bitter split in constituency ranks.
After the result, Miss McIntosh vowed to stand in the next general election in the seat which she held at the last general election with a majority of 11,281.
She said: “I have 77,000 constituents who I have faithfully served. I have been an utterly loyal member of the Conservative Party both in the European Parliament and at Westminster.
“I do not intend to be thrown aside by a small cabal. It is for my constituents as a whole to dismiss me if they wish to do so. It is therefore my intention to stand and represent Thirsk, Malton and Filey constituency at the next general election and I shall continue to fulfil all my constituency and parliamentary duties until then.”
“In the coming year I will support Conservative candidates in the European elections in Yorkshire and the Humber and Conservative local government candidates in Thirsk, Malton and Filey in 2015.”
Coun Linda Cowling, the Conservative leader of Ryedale District Council, said: “I think it is very sad that 560 people could vote on the deselection, when in fact 28,000 people voted for Anne in the last election.
“From my point of view, she has been an excellent MP.”
She said it was regrettable to lose Yorkshire’s only female Conservative MP, when there were not enough female MPs.
The Thirsk and Malton Conservative Association’s 560 members were balloted on Miss McIntosh’s reselection and the result was announced yesterday after a count and a four-hour wait. Thirsk and Malton association member Victor Buchanan said it was the result many in the association expected.
“This whole process has been highly traumatic for the whole association, and now we just want to get our heads down and get on with selecting a candidate who will do a good job for the constituency,” he added.
“There’s no reason to be whooping and cheering.”
The result came at the end of a protracted year-long battle between the local party and Conservative HQ.
Labour frontbencher Jon Ashworth said the result was a further blow to the Tories following announcements by a series of Conservative women MPs that they did not intend to stand again at the next election.
“What on earth is the Conservative Party’s problem with women? With Anne McIntosh deselected, the Tories look set to lose their only female MP in the whole of Yorkshire and the Humber,” he said.
“Already, one in ten of the Conservative women MPs elected in 2010 have announced that they are standing down at the next election. David Cameron has done nothing to stand up for one of his most senior women MPs.
“His silence speaks volumes at a time when many people are asking why the Conservative Party is so out of touch.”